PUBPOL 585 - Political Environment of Policy Analysis
Section: 001
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Public Policy (PUBPOL)
Department: SPP: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course is about the use of policy analysis within the political system. As future policy analysts, administrators, and advocates, you will need to understand what motivates and constrains your fellow actors in the political system. You will also need to approach your own role in the system critically and reflectively, so that you are aware of the usefulness and the limitations of the questions that you have been trained to ask.

The course examines several key sites of policymaking – agenda setting, legislation, interest group activity, and judicial review – focusing attention, at each step, on political actors, their understanding of their role and their motivations, and their incentives to use or ignore policy analysis. These actors include the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; political parties; advocacy and interest groups; nonprofit and for-profit contractors; and community organizations. The aim is not to create a "how-to" manual for political success. Instead, this course teaches you how to recognize the competing interests and strategic alternatives that surround any issue, and why this recognition is a necessary complement to issue analysis.

Requirements for this course include careful reading of assignments before class sessions, exceptional attendance and participation at seminar discussions, multiple short writing assignments and two longer papers, an oral presentation, and frequent peer critiques. Please note that when a reading assignment is scheduled on more than one day, the entire assignment needs to be read before the first class period devoted to it. Grading and information about the assignments is provided in the assignment guide for the course.

All readings will be on reserve in Foster Library (2nd Fl., Lorch Hall). You are strongly encouraged, however, to purchase a coursepack from Dollar Bill Copying, sold through Ulrich's Bookstore (549 E. University), as well as the following books at Shaman Drum Bookstore, 313 S. State St.

Henrik Ibsen, Enemy of the People. (Dover Thrift Edition, 1999 (orig. 1882))
Steven Waldman, The Bill (Viking, 1995)
Kevin Hula, Lobbying Together (Georgetown University Press, 1999)
Jeffrey Berry, The New Liberalism (Brookings Institution Press, 1999)
William Riker, The Art of Political Manipulation (Yale 1986)

PUBPOL 585 - Political Environment of Policy Analysis
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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